Nick Brown new boys basketball coach
Nick Brown, 26, son of longtime boys basketball coach Evan Brown, the winningest coach in Madras sports history, is taking the program over for his father. Evan Brown is also the athletic director for the high school.
"This is a unique situation, where I am going to be overseeing the basketball program," Madras High School Principal Brian Crook said. "Anytime you have a situation where the family is involved, it is unique. (Evan) will be a great spectator. He is going to be able to enjoy watching his son be the next head coach here, but he won't be in the day-to-day operation or overseeing the basketball program. I will be doing that. He will still work with the girls program, but I will be overseeing the boys program."
Evan Brown coached the boys varsity basketball program for 18 years. He led the White Buffalos to 14 playoff appearances.
"He had a huge influence," Nick Brown said about his father. "I take not only the Xs and Os part, but also the love of the game. I have taken so much from him, and I will still take so much from him as I continue my coaching career. He is someone that I can always go to and bounce ideas off of."
"He was a great role model for me growing up," he added. "One of the biggest things I have taken from him is, it is not only about the success on the court, but building young men off the court as well. I want to continue our program through high character, make sure we are doing things the right way, while still finding that success on the court as well."
Nick Brown played varsity basketball for three years at Stayton High School. He grew up in Madras until his sophomore year. He eventually graduated from Gonzaga University with a physical education degree. After graduation, he started helping coach the MHS boys team as an assistant, which he's done since 2015. He is currently a physical education teacher at Madras Elementary.
"I am really excited about this," Brown said. "Growing up in this community, it is pretty cool to be in this position, and now, I am in a bigger leadership role than I have been the last couple years. It is something I have been striving for as a kid, going to Dad's practices. It's something that has been a long time in the making and something that I am excited for, to help this program continue to grow, and try to get us back to where we were in the late '90s, early 2000s, when we were so successful."
The White Buffalos finished the 2018-19 season with a 10-14 record. Evan Brown ran his popular "3-diculous," high-paced, high-tempo offense, which he started in Madras in the 2000s.
"It is going to look quite a bit different than the last couple years," Nick Brown said about coaching style. "It is just a different group of guys. With losing five seniors last year that were pretty uptempo, athletic-based, things are going to look a bit different, more half-court based, especially on defense. We are still going to look to push in transition on the offensive end."
"I am a firm believer in good programs, and good coaches change with the personnel they have," he said. "So I think we will have to make some adjustments this year, and it will take a bit of time to get the players and coaches adjusted, as well. It is something that I think in the long run will make our teams and programs more successful for the guys we have coming up."
"I am really excited about the group coming back," Brown said. "We have a good six players coming back that had some big-time varsity minutes last year, so we are really excited about that group coming back and some sophomores coming up that will step in to some role-player positions. I think that we are going to find success this year with the group of guys coming back, and we are excited to get to work and progress in the right position."
Brown has been watching his dad coach basketball since he was a kid, serving as a water and towel boy in the '90s, and attending the elementary and middle schools in Madras.
"I think growing up in this community is a big part of it," Brown said about being hired as head coach. "Growing up, understanding what this community is all about. We have been a basketball town as long as I can remember. I think getting back to the point where our program is having that success is something that drives me a bit, something that motivated me to put in the work to make our program better, not only at the high school level, but at the youth levels as well, starting to develop those programs a little bit more."
"I love working with kids. You can tell by me being an elementary PE teacher as well," Brown said. "I just love seeing kids battling through things, battling adversity and seeing their improvement once they do. Seeing that improvement in young adults is so rewarding. It is so awesome to see their growth on and off the court. I think that is where my passion comes from, seeing growth in the youth and knowing you have an impact on their lives a bit."
Basketball has been very popular in Jefferson County, in part due to the success both Joe Blincoe and Evan Brown had. Blincoe coached the Madras boys from 1976 to 1992, earning 266 career victories and 12 state appearances as the basketball coach. Blincoe was the career leader in wins before Evan Brown broke that record in 2017.
"Any job we post, whether it is coaching or teaching, we get a pool of candidates," Crook said. "We wait for that pool to grow and look at the candidates, then we conduct interviews — in this case me and Mark Stewart, our assistant principal. We look at resumes and letters of recommendation, references."
"We are looking for people who are connected to our kids in the community," Crook said, "people that have a background in basketball and understand the importance of the game of basketball in our community. That's why we hired Nick. We are just thrilled about him being in the community for a long time. He is really connected to this program, and we are excited to see the job he is going to do, just continuing our basketball tradition."
Crook said the high school hired Brown because of "Nick's love of this high school, basketball, and the community, his understanding of our kids. Being a teacher in our school is a bonus for us because he understands the bigger picture of working with our kids. It is not just about basketball. It is about kids graduating high school, doing well in school, being a part of our core covenants, becoming great people, citizens, leaders. So he can just continue to build that and help our kids."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.